The INSIDER daily digest -- Jan. 22, 2024

By John Liang / January 22, 2024 at 1:44 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on Navy amphibious ship funding, the Air Force's KC-46 airborne refueling tanker program, integrated air and missile defense in Europe and more.

We start off with a deep dive into shipbuilders awaiting news on how much money Congress is going to appropriate for amphibious vessels:

Amphibious warship industrial base is 'underutilized' as LPD procurement pause drags on

With little certainty in the Pentagon's amphibious warship procurement plans, the builders and suppliers that produce these ships are holding their breath as they wait for Congress to complete fiscal year 2024 spending legislation and the Navy to provide a clear shipbuilding forecast.

The Air Force could be on track to finalize the KC-26A full critical design review by the end of the first quarter of this calendar year, or March:

Boeing sends KC-46A's RVS 2.0 critical design review to FAA for airworthiness approval

Boeing has completed the final step for the KC-46A's Remote Vision System 2.0 critical design review, sending the application over to the Federal Aviation Administration, a Boeing spokesperson told Inside Defense.

The Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision requiring the defense secretary in consultation with the commander of U.S. European Command as well as the Missile Defense Agency director to prepare a report that could lay the groundwork for potential enhancements to European integrated air and missile defense capabilities:

DOD to draw up options for 360-degree integrated air and missile defense of European sites

The Pentagon must think anew about missile defense in Europe, including how to defend against air and missile strikes from not only the east -- but also north, south and west -- and provide Congress a report this summer on options for adopting a 360-degree approach to address Russian threats emerging from all strategic directions.

The Sentinel ICBM program acquisition unit cost has climbed from $118 million in 2020 dollars to about $162 million:

Sentinel ICBMs to cost $162M each, more than 35% above baseline

Costs for the Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile program grew at least 37% above the 2020 baseline, triggering a critical Nunn-McCurdy law breach, according to the Air Force.

The Microelectronics Commons was created to advance microelectronics production through regional innovation hubs, announcing their hubs in September 2023 and tasking them with conducting all related projects and proposals to bind industry, commercial and government technologies together:

Microelectronics Commons representatives to conduct Hub site visits

Representatives from the Defense Department, the Naval Surface Warfare Center and the National Security Technology Accelerator will conduct site visits from Jan. 22 to Feb. 9 to the various Microelectronics Commons Hubs located across the nation.